Back before the popularity of cable, Netflix, P2P and all that good stuff, they showed feature films on network television. I'm going to assume this is either blindingly obvious to most of you reading this, but I'm pretty sure at least one or two of you was born well after cable became prohibitively expensive. Anyway, the first October after my family moved to America -- and sometime after I figured out what Halloween was by straining myself silly reading a magazine article in English -- I saw these commercials aired on WPIX, Channel 11 (or as I heard it for months: "shellaveleva.) Happy Halloween y'all.
I've been listening to Zomby's new album Dedication pretty frequently. I originally got the album thinking it was by Zombi, the group who released a split LP with Maserati a few years back (hell, it was on 4AD) but, surprise, it's actually some pretty swell, minimal dubstep. Here's the first single, "Natalia's Song":
I have, so far, been pretty lucky to have never had a corporate burger-flipping job. It's not the nature of the work that I find objectionable -- I worked graveyard shift in a cold sandwich place -- but the combination of dangerous equipment (your deep fryers, grills and the like) and bored, underpaid teenagers that scared the crap out of me. Clearly, it scared the crap out of the owners as well, as the stories of textbooks worth of rules indicating as to the proper procedure during every moment of food preparation. What's worse, of course, is when Giant Corporation tries to make it hip and fun to learn the rules. So, take a look at this wonder of cultural tone-deafness, courtesy of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers®:
Not enough? How about some middling R&B which some very highly-paid attorneys determined was good enough training to ward off scalding lawsuits? (Meanwhile, I have at least three albums released in 2011 that may as well have been produced and sang by the same people responsible for this.)
...and finally, riding on Rapture's coattails, here's "Cold Drinks." Be sure to note the utterly unnecessarily sultry bedroom eyes in the last half-second of the video.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was a considerably better book that it had any right to be. From its early attempts to present Jimmy Olsen as a tough guy -- he punched out a mobster at least once an issue in the first year -- to its later use as Jack Kirby's jumping-off point for the Fourth World -- he was given any choice of book to write for by DC and picked Jimmy Olsen because it had no regular writer and, therefore, no one would lose their job -- the book was a veritable hayride of wackiness. Admittedly, my fondness for the series might be a little influenced by the fact that I read most of the Volume 1 phonebook reprint after being awake for roughly 30 hours, but it's still one of my favorite comics, and one of the most original books I've ever read.
Anyway, combining my love for this comic and for 1950's blase treatment of radioactivity is this page. Keep in mind that what you're reading is the completely innocuous framing device; in fact, I suspect the only reason they're using uranium is because it's more modern-ca.-1955 than gold. The actual story involves Jimmy and Superman tricking these kids into thinking they are wildly hallucinating because they were too cocky about trying to find all that ore. Or something. You can find the whole story in the reprint book I linked above, which I heartily recommend whether you enjoy this page or not.
The Monster Brains blog acquired quite a treasure recently. The complete Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book, scanned for your entertainment. My favorite page has to be "A Vision of Demon Fire," wherein the party's dwarf has a vision of all matter of demonic (and baboon-ic) hellfiends playing what seems to be a friendly game of cee-lo on a pentagram inscribed into the floor. Adorable.
I've been really enjoying supergroup (of bands I had never previously heard) 13 & God's "Armored Scarves." The rest of the album, a mix of indie electronica and hip-hop, is give-or-take (as, for me, is the entire admixture) , but this track really stands out.
The fine folks over at Everything is a Remix have dropped another doozy on us. Grant Morrison has claimed that you can re-arrange the panels of Invisibles #1 to storyboard the movie. Many of these connections are rather tenuous, but, hell the ones that aren't are dead-on.
My last few conversations about music have eventually led to this:
"So, did you hear the new John Maus album?"
"No, I don't think I know who that is."
"Me neither but holy shit this album."
And holy shit this album indeed. Maus' We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves is absolutely wonderful. A rich, thick, gothy sort of wonderful. He channels plenty of Bauhaus, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy in the beats and vocals, but with a more minimalist bent. Admittedly, I'm a creature that thrives on familiarity so his music isn't exactly the most novel. But it's a fantastic throwback.
I saw Jens Lekman play the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. I've been hearing about his live set for roughly as long as I've been hearing about his music. Everyone raved about his earnest, sweet and funny stage presence, so I showed up with high expectations. Ever since witnessing the virtuosic stage banter of the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, I was set to compare it to Jens. Well, it turns out they're completely different. Where Darnielle comes off as a storyteller and bullshitter, Jens recites perfectly (and obviously) crafted introductions to each song, all of which contain if not some of the lyrics, then the entire plot of the song. It definitely lent to the show more of an air of a piano bar, rather than a folk concert.
Jens was, of course, as hilarious as his lyrics. While he was tuning his guitar during the second encore, an audience member shouted "Give 'em hell, Jens!" to which the musician calmly replied "I can't give 'em hell with a nylon string guitar. But I'll try." He loved his audience, and they loved him back. The final song was a rendition of "Pocketful of Money", which, as recorded, has Jens singing over a sample of Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson. Rather than play the sample -- he had a small sampler he used along with an acoustic guitar and live drummer -- he asked the audience to harmonize with him, and sing Calvin's part. I am pretty sure this is the first show I had ever been to where the audience was not only asked to sing along with the band, but make up a significant part of the song.
So, here's a short recording of last night's show; a new track called "Golden Key" seguing into "Opposite of Hallelujah":
...and just in case you've never heard him in decent quality, here's his video for "You Are The Light":
I don't like talking about blogging but, today is the second anniversary of Come On Let's Go. I've admittedly been a little less diligent about the regular updates in the last few months, but most of you have probably stuck by maybe. When I started this project, I didn't think I could actually hold out this long and, yet, here we are, you and I, reading this. Meanwhile, I didn't really think up of anything for this anniversary, more-or-less reflecting my work ethic during the blog's sophomore year. So, here I am, sitting here watching Futurama and trying to get the dog to stop licking the goddamn table and openly narrating my attempt to make this blog post, in the exact opposite of the manner in which I try to avoid doing on a regular basis. Because today is special.
So, thanks for reading, keep it up and enjoy Glasser: